Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's in MY BACKYARD...

Status: Eh.

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little Sis! I won't disclose how old she is. She might murder me. :-D

Poor Thing Two, it took him an hour to finish his homework last night. He only had two mathboxes and one set of Geography questions, but he wanted to make sure he did everything right.

He's in Fourth Grade. The longest it's ever taken him to do homework in the past was about 20 minutes. But he diligently finished everything, even after his other siblings finished up their homework and were downstairs on the computer, watching TV, etc.
I gave him a big hug when he (very proudly) showed me his completed homework.

I was in a quagmire of research last night. Normally, research is fun. Not so, last night. When I want to find out about something, I read up on it, make mental and literal notes, and move on.

Well, I am researching an ancient hill where a great battle took place. There's a well-known scholar who claims the hill is in "such and such" and he lists all his reasons why he's right. Pretty compelling argument. So, I thought I was done.

THEN, I found another scholar, who felt the ancient hill was in a different "such and such" place. And he listed all HIS reasons for why it was right, and they were compelling, too. Then I found yet another non-scholar (but he might as well be) who felt it was yet in another location, then another and ANOTHER.

FIVE different possible locations, all throughout central Mexico and Guatemala. And all of them are 100% CERTAIN they are right. Clearly, they can't all be right.

I've decided there is a hill in my backyard. Maybe THAT is the hill?

Okay, I'm being snarky, but I was very frustrated by the end of the evening. But then I realized it's probably a good thing there's so much conjecture about the actual location of the hill, because where *I* decide the location is (for my work of fiction, of course) would not be scoffed at, as long as I keep it vague. If that makes any sense at all.

Although my back yard sure is a tempting option...

I feel bad for the electric guy today. He's supposed to re-wire from my garage to my light post out front (because apparently when they put in the landscaping they nicked the wire in several places and the post stopped working) and he was supposed to have a trenching machine but they sent him without one. So he has to dig a 50-foot trench BY HAND. Then he gets to run a pipe and thread new wires through.

I think a nice tip is in order. Poor guy. I know they're charging me an arm and a leg to do it, but he'll be here all day. Yuck.

I'll be hanging out pretty much at home today, cleaning. But I am going to get some writing in. The Muse won't wait!


Devon Ellington said...

Which hill serves your story best?

Use that one.

And list the source in your acknowledgments -- it will cover any questions.

Re: home work. For some reason, in fourth grade, I had more homework than any other year. I remember my teacher well. And I had AT LEAST four HOURS every night, sometimes six. At least one hour of homework per class.

It still makes me shudder.

Michelle Miles said...

Oh I dread having "real" homework - right now it's just reading and math flashcards.

I still say Guatamala. :D

PS - I'll post the meatloaf recipe tomorrow!

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Vague history is the best history for building fiction around. As long as you don't violate anything obvious, it gives you plenty of room to work. You might even be able to weave the controversy into the story by making the characters unsure or argumentative over where things were taking place. It sounds like fun to me.

Lynn Sinclair said...

When I wrote my first Aten book, I simply wrote in whatever landscape I needed at the time. I never considered that the book might actually be published, and that I'd need to base that location on a real place. Luckily, after much searching, I did find just the spot, but learned that one should do the research before writing the book, not after.

Good luck!